Amazon to stop Aussies shopping from its global websites

01 June, 2018, 16:04 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • People in Australia will be redirected to only use Amazon's local website from July 1

Online retail giant Amazon will block Australian consumers from its global sites to counter new laws forcing it to collect GST on transactions.

From July 1, Amazon will redirect local shoppers trying to visit the likes of Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk to its much smaller Australian site, thwarting those who enjoy the lower prices and larger range offered overseas.

The move is a response to the government's decision to slap the 10 per cent goods and services tax on all items bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia, rather than just those worth more than $1,000 as at present. The tax now only applies to purchases above AU$1,000 ($757).

Dr. Minifie, the economist, said that Amazon would probably continue to build a healthy customer base in Australia despite the change.

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"While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites", an Amazon spokeswoman said.

"This will allow us to provide our customers with continued access to (our) global selection and remain compliant with the law", it said.

Ms. Wong, the visually impaired Amazon customer, said the company's main site offered products she just couldn't get from Australian retailers, including many created to help visually impaired people like her. However Amazon US has 480 million.

"The second-biggest company in the world, run by the richest man in the world, shouldn't get a leave pass from paying tax in Australia", Morrison said in an email statement on Thursday.

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Morrison doubted Amazon had difficulty with Australian taxes when it had the technology to cope with different tax regimes in Britain and Canada. "If someone takes their bat and ball and goes home, well, Australians will form a view about that".

The new tax rules were brought in after years of lobbying by struggling local retailers, which have to apply GST to all online and store sales.

Consumer campaigner Christopher Zinn said Australian shoppers will notice a significant reduction in options when browsing the internet for goods.

An eBay spokesman said the USA company was working on a way to collect the Australian tax from sellers around the world without cutting access for Australians.

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